Have you seen this photo of a Calif. principal choking a student?

October 11, 2013 

A California high school principal is defending his decision to suspend 10 students for sharing a photo that shows him restraining a student -- with his arms around her neck, apparently choking her.

See the photo here.

Todd Whitmire, principal of Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Calif., told KTVU that the photo was taken last Friday during a fight, which he was attempting to break up.

"I had separated her and she began struggling and I was pushing her away to get her away from the area and she fell down," Whitmire told the Contra Costa Times.

Two students were suspended as a result; the other 10 for sharing the photo online with racist and derogatory captions.

The photo has gone viral in the week since.

Ashley Johnson, the ninth-grade female student in the photo, wore a neck brace Tuesday, in an interview with KTVU. She said the fight was started by a male student.

Officers told the Contra Costa Times that there was no evidence of battery; charges are not pending against Whitmire.

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